- Associated Press - Thursday, October 1, 2015

LIVERMORE, Calif. (AP) - A federal security research facility in Northern California will pay $37.25 million to settle a lawsuit brought by 129 older workers who say they were fired because of their ages.

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory about 45 miles east of San Francisco announced the settlement Wednesday but denied any wrongdoing. The workers who sued were among 430 laid off in 2007 as the Livermore lab restructured, shifting its focus away from nuclear weapon development and toward other scientific research.

Mike McElfresh said he was a 51-year-old physicist when he was laid off, finding himself in a long line of other soon-to-be former employees who were middle-aged, the Contra Costa Times reported (https://bayareane.ws/1iO3GST ).

“There was an assembly line of people … and you didn’t see anyone in that line under 50 years old,” said McElfresh, who still lives near the lab. He teaches part time at nearby Santa Clara University.

Five of the workers’ claims were considered during two separate jury trials in 2013. One jury awarded a $2.73 million judgment over employment contracts and another sided with the lab on the age discrimination case.

Both sides appealed the verdicts, and the settlement was reached after months of mediation.

The settlement will be divided among the 129 workers depending on their pay scale at the time of their dismissals.

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Information from: Contra Costa Times, https://www.contracostatimes.com

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